The GOP Scrambles to Deal With the Political Fallout of an Improving Recovery.

by Pitt Griffin on July 3, 2014 · 0 comments

in Economics, Politics

“If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: ‘President Can’t Swim’.” – LBJ

Doomsayers (aka Republicans) warned that Obamacare was going to be a job-killing catastrophe for the economy and death knell for many small businesses. These Cassandras are wrong. After delaying the recovery for years with their obdurate behavior, the GOP is now faced with (for them) the unpleasant truth that the President is not cratering the economy and his policies are not dimming a brightening jobs picture.

In fairness, there is debate over exactly how much a President’s policies impact the economy. But as the GOP was blaming Obama for the anemic recovery, they must also give him credit when things take a turn for the better.

But you know they won’t. So how will the Republicans spin this?

In the short term, Hurricane Arthur will be a boon – because images of trees whipping around are compelling video. And it will give conservative news sources the rationale to bury the story. (Fox News has it so deep-sixed it isn’t even the lead story in its business section – which itself is on the bottom of its homepage.)

If they have to face it in the long term, they will likely hang their hat on the economy’s contraction during the 1st quarter 2014. But A. the weather was lousy and B. much of the 2.9% decline in GDP was a result of lower health care spending. And that’s an irony. The GOP could beat the President up for the negative GDP, but that would acknowledge he was right about the ACA. The GOP will no doubt deal with this unfavorable (for them) news by not mentioning it. The number is bad, why analyze the cause?

The GOP may take credit for the good news. They will claim that their obstructionism allowed the economy to be shielded from the depredations of the tyrant Obama’s ministrations. But if they want to own today’s better recovery, they must also own the anemic recovery. And they won’t.

They might argue that the latest good news is a result of the Federal Reserve flooding the market with cheap money and that it is unsustainable. To which Obama should reply, that’s why we have the Fed – and they won’t be doing it indefinitely.

Republicans might imply that an improving recovery is being fueled on out-of-control government spending and skyrocketing federal employment. Except the spending is not out of control and federal employment is declining.

In all likelihood the GOP will just ignore the recovery and keep their fingers crossed that it won’t last.

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